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The POWER 30: Julie N. Nagorski

Dewitt LLP

Julie Nagorski nearly missed the Power 30 section for the most compelling of reasons — jury duty. She recently spent a week on a criminal jury, resulting in an acquittal. “I enjoyed it,” she said. “It was a great experience, evaluating my fellow jurors and my colleagues, getting insight into how jurors deliberate.”

Her practice at DeWitt LLP is real estate and construction litigation including boundaries, probate cases where real property is involved, land use and zoning, access and inverse condemnation.

Additionally, Nagorski was second chair on an important case before the Minnesota Supreme Court under the Marketable Title Act.
The dispute in In re Moratzka centered on a 30-foot-wide strip of land abutting Trout Lake in Itasca County. The appellants were state agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, who argued that this land, which is essentially a beach, can be used by the public because it was dedicated to the public long ago. But the appellee, who represented the trust that purchased the disputed land, contended that any public interest in the beach was abandoned under Minnesota law. The District Court and the Court of Appeals agreed, but the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case Wednesday.

“Because no public entity recorded the 1911-12 dedication within 40 years, the MTA extinguished any public interest in the platted roadway,” the Court of Appeals said.

A similar case was put on hold pending the outcome in Moratzka. Lundstrom v. Township of Florence involves platted, unopened streets that abut appellants’ lots in respondent Florence Township on the western shore of Lake Pepin. The Court of Appeals ruled for the property owners. “A deed or other instrument that conveys a fee simple interest in part of a platted street along with a conveyance of the abutting lot is a ‘source of title’ to that part of the street for purposes of the MTA,” the Court of Appeals said.